Traditional sweet shop brings back nostalgic memories

Cola cubes and flying saucers are just some of the sweet favourites bringing back childhood memories for our residents.

“Our sweet shop reminds me of childhood trips with my mum to the local sweet shop”, says Pauline, a resident here at Ashbrook Court Care Home. Pauline is one of many residents who is loving our traditional sweet shop.

The shop is part of a vintage high street which also includes a post box and a mural featuring a florist and a ladies’ boutique. The decor was chosen to enhance the lives of our residents as the reminiscence gives them a sense of comfort and security.

Our Home Manager, Jonathane Ribeiro says; “Our sweet shop and Sweet Trolley is a social experience for our residents and it brings a lot of joy to our home. The traditional sweets remind our residents of their younger years and relatives have commented on how it has brought back childhood memories for their loved ones. We need meaning behind each activity that we do for our residents and our sweet shop helps our home to be full of life and it certainly keeps our residents smiling.”

Reminiscence work is one of a few different approaches that can help people living with dementia cope with memory loss, to help improve their quality of life. It allows people to look back on their lives and rediscover memorable experiences.

Our team has seen first-hand how enjoyable it has been for their residents. Jackie Berritt, Group Lifestyle Lead explains,“The sweet shop has become the social hub of Ashbrook Court! It keeps our residents’ minds active and helping with tasks in the shop gives them a real sense of fulfilment and helps them to feel part of something.”

The benefits the sweet shop has on the residents’ emotional wellbeing has also been noticed by residents’ families. Joe is 87 and he really enjoys taking the mobile sweet trolley round to serve his friends in their rooms. His daughter, Julie, says, “Dad loves Ashbrook Court. It’s the little things like the sweet shop that make the difference. He loves being able to say, ‘I live near the post office’ and the sweet shop is extremely special for him because he was brought up in Children’s Homes and never visited a sweet shop when he was little.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Society reminiscence work can help to maintain a person’s self-esteem, confidence and sense of self and it can also be used as a prompt for conversation to improve a person’s social interactions with others.
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